Listers, the following lesson is taken from the Baltimore Catechism. The Baltimore Catechism was the standard catechism of teaching the faith and catechizing children from 1885 to Vatican II. Its basic question-and-answer approach is the most natural learning style for the human mind and simplifies even the most complex theological questions. SPL has reproduced 29 Questions Explaining Indulgences, 46 Questions to Help Explain the Sacraments,and What Is Meant By the “End of Man” and 10 other Questions.
SPL recently published four lists with questions explaining the Eucharist:
This Is My Body: 10 Questions to Help Explain the Holy Eucharist
Transubstantiation: 10 Questions on the Substance of the Holy Eucharist
Do This in Memory of Me: 7 Questions on the Eucharist
21 Questions on Why the Eucharist Was Given to Humanity
The following is the second part of the Creation section. The first pertains to Creation as a whole and the second pertains to angels.
Baltimore Catechism No. 3
On Creation – Part II
Q. 215. How may God’s creatures on earth be divided?
A. God’s creatures on earth may be divided into four classes:
Things that exist, as air;
Things that exist, grow and live, as plants and trees;
Things that exist, grow, live and feel, as animals;
Things that exist, grow, live, feel and understand, as man.
Q. 216. What are angels?
A. Angels are pure spirits without a body, created to adore and enjoy God in heaven.
Q. 217. If Angels have no bodies, how could they appear?
A. Angels could appear by taking bodies to render themselves visible for a time; just as the Holy Ghost took the form of a dove and the devil took the form of a serpent.
Q. 218. Name some persons to whom Angels appeared.
A. Angels appeared to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph; also to Abraham, Lot, Jacob, Tobias and others.
Q. 219. Were the angels created for any other purpose?
A. The angels were also created to assist before the throne of God and to minister unto Him; they have often been sent as messengers from God to man; and are also appointed our guardians.
Q. 220. Are all the Angels equal in dignity?
A. All the Angels are not equal in dignity. There are nine choirs or classes mentioned in the Holy Scripture. The highest are called Seraphim and the lowest simply Angels. The Archangels are one class higher than ordinary Angels.
Q. 221. Mention some Archangels and tell what they did.
A. The Archangel Michael drove Satan out of heaven; the Archangel Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin that she was to become the Mother of God. The Archangel Raphael guided and protected Tobias.
Q. 222. Were Angels ever sent to punish men?
A. Angels were sometimes sent to punish men. An Angel killed 185,000 men in the army of a wicked king who had blasphemed God; an Angel also slew the first-born in the families of the Egyptians who had persecuted God’s people.
Q. 223. What do our guardian Angels do for us?
A. Our guardian Angels pray for us, protect and guide us, and offer our prayers, good works and desires to God.
Q. 224. How do we know that Angels offer our prayers and good works to God?
A. We know that Angels offer our prayers and good works to God because it is so stated in Holy Scripture, and Holy Scripture is the Word of God.
Q. 225. Why did God appoint guardian Angels if He watches over us Himself?
A. God appointed guardian Angels to secure for us their help and prayers, and also to show His great love for us in giving us these special servants and faithful friends.
Q. 226. Were the angels, as God created them, good and happy?
A. The angels, as God created them, were good and happy.
Q. 227. Did all the angels remain good and happy?
A. All the angels did not remain good and happy; many of them sinned and were cast into hell, and these are called devils or bad angels.
Q. 228. Do we know the number of good and bad Angels?
A. We do not know the number of the good or bad Angels, but we know it is very great.
Q. 229. What was the devil’s name before he fell, and why was he cast out of heaven?
A. Before he fell, Satan, or the devil, was called Lucifer, or light-bearer, a name which indicates great beauty. He was cast out of heaven because through pride he rebelled against God.
Q. 230. How do the bad Angels act toward us?
A. The bad Angels try by every means to lead us into sin. The efforts they make are called temptations of the devil.
Q. 231. Why does the devil tempt us?
A. The devil tempts us because he hates goodness, and does not wish us to enjoy the happiness which he himself has lost.
Q. 232. Can we by our own power overcome the temptations of the devil?
A. We cannot by our own power overcome the temptations of the devil, because the devil is wiser than we are; for, being an Angel, he is more intelligent, and he did not lose his intelligence by falling into sin any more than we do now. Therefore, to overcome his temptations we need the help of God.